House eyes '100 percent face-to-face' setup for first Marcos SONA

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 27 2022 04:00 PM

Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is proclaimed the president-elect of the Philippines during a formal ceremony officiated by Senate President Vicente Sotto III (L) and House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco at the House of Representatives at the Batasan Pambansa in Quezon City on May 25, 2022
Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is proclaimed the president-elect of the Philippines during a formal ceremony officiated by Senate President Vicente Sotto III (L) and House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco at the House of Representatives at the Batasan Pambansa in Quezon City on May 25, 2022

MANILA — The House of Representatives eyes hosting a 100-percent face-to-face State of the Nation Address (SONA) for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out 2 years ago, an official said on Monday. 

It would also be the first SONA of incoming President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr.

However, House Secretary General Mark Llandro Mendoza said the chamber was also prepared to host another hybrid SONA, depending on the COVID-19 situation and the wishes of the next President.

"Face-to-face [ang SONA], pero we prepared 2 scenarios: isang 100-percent full capacity 'yung House, at same time we also prepared scenario na hybrid na may social distancing. Depende rin kasi sa Pangulo, at the same time sa situation ng COVID," Mendoza said.

(The SONA will be face-to-face, but we prepared 2 scenarios: the first is 100-percent full capacity at the House, at the same time we also prepared for a hybrid scenario with social distancing. It will also depend on the President, and at the same time, on the COVID situation.) 

The President tackles his legislative priorities in the SONA, held every fourth Monday of July. 

Meanwhile, congressmen of the 19th Congress will get an upgraded Batasan Pambansa when they start their terms on June 30.

Mendoza said they were finishing repairs and renovation of the complex, including the expansion of the capacity of the hall where the House conducts its plenary session every afternoon. 

The House also overhauled its security system and fixed the offices of the secretariat.

— Report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

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